Settlement of floor slab
There was a very interesting and informative presentation by Bob Webster of York Sills, Civil & Structural Consulting Engineers at the Parish Council meeting on 4th February, about the problems facing the village hall.
It appears there has been a fault in the construction of the floor slab ever since the hall was built in 1980. The amount of hardcore used to backfill the foundations was very significant, being so thick that it was difficult to compact. This was also compounded by the hardcore possibly being laid over top soil, both issues which have allowed settlement of the floor slab, taking any drains or services with it. In addition, as the floor slab was unreinforced it has allowed the slab to crack where it was left unsupported.
The downside is that the village hall now faces costly repairs and disruption to business. The upside is that a full review can now be taken of what facilities can and should be provided to the community, how the internal layout of the village hall should be redesigned and whether any extension to the building should be planned.
All this costs money of course and funds aren't easy to obtain in today's financial climate. However, there are a number of grants available for community buildings that can be bid for. The next step would appear to be the creation of a dedicated Project Team who will take this challenge forward.
A business case will need to be prepared, a project plan drafted, a planning application may need to be submitted, and bids for funds/grants submitted and contractors sought. All of which will need to be overseen by the Parish Council.
For more information, you may like to read the full report from YorkSills.